New Survey Suggests Younger & Straight American Men Having Less Sex

Monday June 15, 2020

New Survey Suggests Younger & Straight American Men Having Less Sex
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Are younger, straight American men having less sex?

A new survey suggests so, "with nearly a third reporting no sex with a partner in the prior year," suggesting "social media and electronic gaming might be filling the void," Reuters reports.

"The survey found that from 2000 to 2018, nearly one in three U.S. men aged 18 to 24 reported no sexual activity in the past year. Lack of sexual activity, or sexual inactivity, was also on the rise among men and women aged 25 to 34 years during the survey period, the report in the journal JAMA Network Open found."

"Sexual activity was largely unchanged among unmarried women, along with no notable decline among gay men," the Reuters story continued.

The report cites sexual activity "has sexual activity has decreased in Western countries, particularly in the past 2 decades," and suggests two possibilities as to why.

"First, adolescents and young adults are taking longer to grow to adulthood. This includes the postponement of not just sexual activity but also other activities related to mating and reproduction, including dating, living with a partner, pregnancy, and birth," the report states.

When compared to previous generations, "adolescents in the 2010s were also less likely to drive, drink alcohol, go out without their parents, and work at paid jobs." Those unemployed were less likely to have sex, the report concludes. "As employment rates have decreased, so has sexual activity. In addition, fewer young adults are living with a partner (married or unmarried), and more are living with their parents than in past decades."

Though, the report adds, this doesn't explain the lower rate of sexual activity amongst the general population, which isn't tied to employment. Pornography and changes in attitudes towards pre-marital sex may be a factor, but these conclusions are "difficult to support with individual-level data."

The second major factor is "the growth of the internet and digital media. Although internet sites and social media should theoretically make it easier to find new sexual partners, time spent online has also displaced time once spent on face-to-face social interaction... Put simply, there are now many more choices of things to do in the late evening than there once were and fewer opportunities to initiate sexual activity if both partners are engrossed in social media, electronic gaming, or binge watching."

The report concludes "it seems clear that the trend toward less sexual activity has not occurred in isolation; it coincides with other substantial cultural shifts, such as the slowing of the developmental trajectory and the increase in time spent on electronic media."

Reuters added that by "analyzing biennial survey data between 2000 and 2018 from nearly 10,000 men and women aged 18 to 44 years, researchers found that 16.5% of respondents reported less sexual activity in 2016-2018 versus 9.5% in 2000-2002, mostly among unmarried, heterosexual men."

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